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Mothers, Babies Spared in Spain Blast

United Press International

Mothers and their newborn infants in a maternity clinic escaped injury in a car bomb blast that wrecked a delivery room and killed five civil guardsmen driving past the building in a jeep, the clinic’s director said Friday.

“We have 60 mothers and their babies here,” said Francisco Rubio, director of the Rosario maternity clinic. “It is a miracle that no one got hurt or injured. The delivery room was wrecked.”

At least 14 people were wounded in the 7:22 a.m. blast that hurled shards of glass and chunks of window frame into the delivery room.

No group or individual immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. But authorities suspected the Basque separatist group ETA, a Spanish acronym for Basque Homeland and Liberty, which in 1969 launched a terrorist campaign for an independent Marxist state in the Basque region of northeastern Spain.

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The bomb, filled with explosives and a large number of nuts and bolts and apparently triggered by remote control, exploded as a jeep carrying the paramilitary civil guardsmen away from the Italian Embassy drove through heavy morning traffic in the city’s elegant Salamanca district.

Three of the guardsmen were instantly killed as the jeep burst into flames. Two other guardsmen died hours later in a hospital.

The blast sent pieces of the jeep flying 50 yards, buckled six lamp posts and shattered windows in buildings for several blocks.


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